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Hanging from the beams of a makeshift workshop behind Ryoko Kurosu’s beauty salon are thousands of traditional ornaments the hairdresser has created from scratch — colorfully embellished fabric figurines that are testament to the power of perseverance in the face of seemingly irreparable calamity.

Each decoration carries a specific meaning, explains the cheerful septuagenarian, donning a gray kimono-style jacket.

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